Failed companies expected to win the Corporate Darwin Award


Note: Some answers have been edited for length and / or clarity.


“Whoever was in charge of putting the Yellow Pages online.”

Newscast / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“A multibillion dollar industry that adopted wayyyyy too late.” —U / zerostyle


Circuit City has made a decision to stop selling home appliances. No matter how bad the economy is, people will always buy refrigerators, washers, vacuum cleaners, etc., but they will be waiting in front of televisions and video games. . “

Kim Kulish / Corbis via Getty Images


“Borders ceasing to do business with Amazon.”


“Prodigy Online Service. They had a great bulletin board system, which was included in the monthly fee. They got greedy, and for no other reason than wanting to make more money, they started charging people for using the bulletin board, by message. “

Conan O’Brien / Via

“Beyond dumb, and at the time, a lot of users were like, OK, we’re done with Prodigy. In one year, they’ve lost almost all of the market share to Compuserve and AOL, and were virtually nonexistent shortly thereafter. All because they got even more greedy. ” —U / R_TOKAR


“I officially name Schlitz Beer for the Corporate Darwin Hall of Fame. The number one beer in America by far in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when a head office genius decided to change the recipe to save money. money on ingredients. Sales have fallen off a cliff. “

Buffalo wild wings / Via

“Almost immediately they went back to the old recipe. But it was already too late. The old Schlitz drinkers stayed away in droves. The business stays up the Schlitz stream without a paddle.” —U / jimmyjazz2000


“In the mid-90s, before Napster, I was working for BMG marketing this ’10 CDs for a dollar’ crap.


“We love rice here in the Philippines. There is a popular and relatively inexpensive Japanese restaurant that serves unlimited rice for every meal, and it was well known for it. “

“A brilliant guy decides to take it off, the rumor goes around and people stop going. A few months later, they decide to put the promo back on, but the customers just stopped coming.” —U / teapots


“Excited not to buy Google for $ 750,000.”

Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images


“This year, POWDR, a group that ran Park City Mountain Resort, the nation’s third largest family ski resort, was taken over by competitor Vail and removed from their resort ownership. Why ? Because after 20 years of existence the largest lease in history (about $ 150,000 per year for a complex that brings in millions and millions of dollars), the end of the lease has elapsed and they forgot to renew it. Literally, that’s it. “


“I worked on the TV show Fear factor. I’m pretty sure giving two hot blondes ass to drink ass killed the show. “

DreamWorks Animation / Via

“It was canceled after the controversy of this episode.” —U / Sil_E


Peanut Corporation of America found salmonella in their products. The owner covered it up and told them to ‘just ship it.’ Infected and killed dozens of people, the company went bankrupt almost immediately after it it was traced to them, and the owners were charged and prosecuted. “


“Milwaukee Road gave up half of its main line because it thought it was losing money despite heavy traffic. the system that made money. “

Cweimer4 / Getty Images

“They sold some of their rolling stock to generate short-term cash, then re-let it. When the rental price went up, they couldn’t afford to fix their own equipment, so they sold more. to rental companies Rinse, repeat.

Instead of completing their electrification and buying new electric locomotives (on which GE was willing to offer them a deal), they decided to take the electrification out and sell it for scrap. When they did that, scrap metal prices fell and diesel fueling ended up costing more than completing their electrification. Needless to say, things didn’t go well for them. “—U / elfo222


“RadioShack is doing it slowly. They used to be the place to go to get resistors, switches, and cards. Now the employees don’t know what a potentiometer is and they insist on selling me smart phones.”

NBC / Via

“It’s also worth pointing out that they know next to nothing about cables or connector types. At my local RadioShack, they are of no help. “—U / Tim_Teboner


“Digg. This irreversible system upgrade.”


“There’s a restaurant in Austin that’s pretty much famous for their really good chicken wings. At one point a few years ago wings were taken off the menu because they were ‘too popular’ and ‘slowing down. the kitchen. “It went on for about a month before someone realized it was a better idea to put the time and effort into improving the kitchen rather than killing their best-selling item.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / CBS / Via


“Enron for paying ‘idea bonuses’ to their leaders before the ideas became profitable.” They paid a guy millions for inventing an online movie download service about 10 years before it was possible. Ironically, the documentary is available on Netflix. “


“K-Mart took on a whole bunch of debt to buy back its shares, in an attempt to raise the price of its shares. When the news came out, Walmart (which had virtually no debt at the time) decided that now would be a good time to start a price war K-Mart had to pay interest, while Walmart had little or no interest to pay.

Walmart / Via

“So by lowering the profit margin to a point where K-Mart had to cut back on internal investments, Walmart got ahead while K-Mart was lagging behind. things like creating new stores and maintaining existing stores). And that’s one of the main reasons why Walmart is so popular and booming, when K-Mart has always seemed a little … —u / hokthes


“In 1995, Malden Mills burned down. At a time when manufacturers were relocating their operations overseas to cut costs, Feuerstein rebuilt the factory in the same location. And he continued to pay the salaries and benefits of all his employees during the reconstruction.

Boston Globe / Boston Globe via Getty Images

“Unfortunately, the company never recovered, Feuerstein was eventually ousted, Malden Mills declared bankruptcy and its assets were sold or transferred to new companies.” —U / Spektr44


“It didn’t turn out badly, but the founder of FedEx had a potential Darwin Award in his hands. When the company didn’t have enough money to fuel the planes, he took the company’s remaining funds, went to Vegas, and bet it all on blackjack tables. Now it turns out that he has earned enough to keep the planes in the air, thus saving the business. It was practically a draw, however. “


“Atari spent something in the order of $ 100,000,000 in the 1980s to purchase the rights to make a HEY video game followed by only giving a guy about two months to design, program and test the game. It didn’t just come close to tanking Atari, but console gaming in general. “


“The founder of Osborne Computer made such a profound mistake that he not only killed the company, but generated a name for the effect that is famous in the computer industry. The moral of the story: don’t don’t tell consumers about your new, improved, cheaper model coming out very soon while you’re still trying to sell the existing model. Unless you want them to stop buying the existing model. “

Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images


“When the iPod was first launched, it was an Apple-only product. At the time, I was a sales manager at a computer chain store, and we had people practically begging for the iPod on a PC.

Roger Brooks / Getty Images

“Apple account representatives have told us in so many terms that this is not happening and that Apple has no interest in connecting their product to a PC. I’d say it was at least a year before Apple released PC versions, and there wasn’t a lot of stock we could bring in that wouldn’t sell out instantly. I don’t know why they changed their position, but it’s a good thing they did. —U / avrus


“Bean counters wanted to change Augustiner (Munich’s oldest brewery, a very traditional and fantastic beer) to switch from in-house malt to externally produced malt, as the malt building is located in a prime real estate location in the Munich city center. “

Starz / Via

“They tested beers with external malts, the result was not as good, so they kept their own production, because their business keeps up with the quality of their beer. They hardly advertise and really live than their reputation. “ —U / _ak


Sharper Image is suing Consumer Reports for making ‘defamatory’ allegations that their sonic air filter was fake. It turns out to be a fake. Court ordered product recall. Sharper Image is no longer . “

Fox / Via Nokia, September 21, 2010


“In 2008, speculators were pushing the price of oil to unsustainable levels. Get into Semgroup, a pipeline company that moved oil and traded energy futures. In 2008, they decided to sell short oil.”

PBS / Via

“For the next month or two, oil continued to push higher and higher, and they continued to increase their position on average. The problem here was that Semgroup management was so certain that prices were going to fall, that it short-circuited oil on the margin.In the end, the clearing house of the brokerage house with which Semgroup took this important short position forced Semgroup to unwind its entire position in Barclays. Semgroup finally went bankrupt. Literally a week later, the oil crashed SPECTACULARLY. In about a month, it fell almost 80%. Semgroup missed $ 5 billion in profits. ” —U /[deleted]


“When Nokia said, ‘Using Android is like peeing in your pants to warm up in winter’, in September 2010.”

Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images


“Kodak tells the creator of digital photography to fuck off.”


Segway. In June 2003, President Bush made headlines for falling off a Segway during a test drive. This event alone likely killed the future of the company. In September 2003, the company has recalled all units due to injuries sustained by customers when the battery died. “

Radio-Canada / Via

Fast forward to 2009, Segway is acquired by British businessman James Heselden. In a literal Darwin Award moment, Heselden dies when he rides his Segway on a 30 foot cliff and falls into the river below. . ” —U / ad8871

Daily BuzzFeed

Keep up to date with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.